Dear students and curious readers,
This is our first editors’ piece, and we cannot emphasize enough how excited we are to finally be writing it! Technology and digitalization have always been vital levers of change. But now more than ever, businesses, institutions and policymakers are relying on technological innovation to solve current and future challenges. At UNIGMA, we support this. That is why we share stories that focus on how the potential of the technology can be realized in ‘real-life settings. But as students, we should also remain critical and demand from stakeholders that technology is implemented responsibly to avoid various kind of Terminator scenarios.
Zooming in on 3D-printing
For the next couple of months, we will put a spotlight on ONE technology – but our articles will offer surprisingly different perspectives, so you can read all of them without getting bored. Seeing that this is the launch of UNIGMA, we had to come up with relevant technology. Given the COVID-19 circumstances, we think that one technology, in particular, deserves to be highlighted: additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing.
Since March, stories on how companies, universities and private persons have 3D printed supplies for hospitals have flourished in the media. As a result, more people have recognized the possibilities of additive manufacturing. In our articles, we offer across-the-board perspectives on all the different ways 3D printing can be applied. None of this would have been possible without the people that have contributed to the content. A huge thanks from us to you!
What can you expect from Unigma? A few reflections
It might be obvious, but a good thing to remember is that when talking about 3D print, it is always about manufacturing. However, in terms of industry specificity – there are almost no limits!
We see additive manufacturing being employed in a potpourri of industries ranging from healthcare and food innovation to construction and tools. Why? There are so many reasons! We see larger corporations investing in 3D printing because it enables product customization. Similarly, hospitals are taking great advantage of the technology as anatomical models, bone grafts and even organs can be printed to match the individual patient. Integrating 3D printing early on, is a great advantage for startups and smaller businesses, as it provides them with the opportunity to develop more sustainable manufacturing solutions.
Despite all the advantages, there are still some challenges with 3D print solutions. 3D printing still has high costs, and far from all materials can be used in the printing process. On a cultural level, only 11% of those who work with additive manufacturing are female, and it can be intimidating as a young woman to enter the industry. However, improvements happen every day! Startups such as Lynxter tries to minimize the challenges of the high costs on the manufacturing side, and individuals like Sarah O’Sell works to get more women into the industry.
Discover how well-established firms, start-ups and students use 3D-printing
Why is 3D-printing relevant for students?
We have talked to a futurist, who believes that the future of manufacturing is moving in one direction – and that is toward more 3D printed products. That being said, you can already take advantage of the technology while you study!
We have talked to different students who share how they use 3D printing to print architectural models and actual spare parts for your bike at home. If you already have an idea involving 3D print, we also offer articles on how to secure funding.
Reach out and ask!
If you have any questions after having read an article, you are more than welcome to reach out to us! We can redirect your questions to the relevant students, organizations or businesses. It is important that we connect! Moreover, for each technology, we welcome you to send us feedback on how we can make the page even better for you!
Technology has so much potential, and if we break down the barriers between different educational and professional backgrounds, we might be able to foster the innovation needed for ourselves and society.
So, is it realistic to hope for even more 3D printing in the future? We believe so, and as Klaus Æ Mogensen said: “eventually it will live up to the hype.” So why not try to see how you can learn from the field?
We hope the articles will inspire you to come up with your own ideas and prepare you to take part in the discussion on how 3D print will shape our future. We hope you will enjoy the platform.
That is all for now!
Kezia and Julie